Shrunken Head Halloween apples for brave tricker treaters.

Trick or treat? Walking the streets? Costumes that drag on the ground … flashlights that go out! Goody bags that break open. Plastic masks that hurt your face and block your vision. Rain on your parade and you with no umbrella? So cold that we had to wear our winter coat hat and mittens over our costumes and then we had the chills on the outside and sweats under the coat as the plastic costume and mask caused is to reap hot moisture on our skin! These are a few scary memories I have when thinking of my childhood Halloween trick or treat events. Not to mention the stomachaches we had after we sneaked our candy under our pillows and ate it when we went to bed. But of course, we all had those special few “great houses” that gave away full-sized candy bars or huge giant popcorn balls and one even handed out caramel apples … yes, we ate it all and survived. Heading home after several house of trick or treating (unsupervised, of course, it was the 50s and 60s). We had so much candy that it filled a pillow case and it was quite an effort to walk the miles and miles lugging it home. Once home, we had to hurry and sort out our candy and hide the good stuff from our dad, as he was the one in our family with the biggest sweet tooth!

My husband shares a story that one year he came home and hid all of his candy so well he forgot about it and then, months later, he found it but it was all mushy, spoiled and inedible.

I always enjoy reminiscing about our childhood Halloweens; they were so different from the ones I see and hear about nowadays. Drive by trick or treats? Animal parades? Indoor parties instead of street walking and begging for treats! I even had to do a trick or talent at one house to get a treat, but today you don’t have to perform, walk blocks or even dress up to enjoy the Halloween treats I have for you. Just “Please Join Our Table” as we satisfy our cravings for Halloween sweets with these yummy treats and nibbles!

Witches' Hats Cookies

An easy and fun recipe for kids!


2 (16 ounce) packages any fudge dipped or topped round cookies, such as Oreo Thins Bites Fudge Dipped Chocolate Sandwich Cookies or Keebler Fudge Shoppe Fudge Stripes Cookies

1/3 cup premade chocolate icing/frosting

1 (9 ounce) bag Hershey’s chocolate kisses, unwrapped

1 package orange Tic Tac or round dot candy

1 small tube orange or white icing (if you can’t find it you can use decorating gel, but it will not harden)

DIRECTIONS: Place a cookie onto a baking sheet or tray (with the chocolate side up if using the Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies). Smear a small dab (about 1/4 teaspoon) of chocolate icing on the bottom of a chocolate kiss, and place the kiss piece to the center of the cookie (if using the Keebler fudge stripe cookie, be sure it covers the hole). Place the smallest plastic top on the tube of orange icing and pipe a small hatband onto the cookie at the base of the candy kiss. Add the Tic Tac or candy dot on the band. Repeat with remaining ingredients. So cute!

My Kitty Litter Cake Recipe

This is a cake I love to make and serve at parties. Kids think it is grossly cool and adults think it is disgusting looking … you absolutely need a NEW kitty litter pan and scoop!


1 spice or German chocolate cake mix plus baking ingredients

1 white cake mix plus baking ingredients 1 large box instant vanilla pudding 1 package Oreos cookies green food coloring 1 new kitty litter box 1 new kitty litter liner

1 new kitty litter scoop 3-6 Tootsie Rolls, regular and midgees

DIRECTIONS: Make each cake to package directions. Bake in whatever pans you want to use. Let cakes cool. Make pudding to package directions. Refrigerate. Place Oreos in a *food processor. Pulse until crushed. Remove about 1/4 cup of the cookie crumbs. Mix with a few drops of the green food coloring. Set aside. In a large bowl, crumble the cake mixes and half of the remaining sandwich cookie crumbs. Stir in just enough vanilla pudding to moisten. Line your NEW kitty litter box with the NEW kitty litter liner. Pour the cake mixture into the kitty litter box. Sprinkle the remaining sandwich cookie crumbs evenly over the cake mixture. Sprinkle the green colored sandwich cookie crumbs over top. Place unwrapped Tootsie Rolls on a microwave-safe plate. Heat on high for 10-20 seconds, just until soft enough to bend. Unwrap and shape Tootsie Rolls so that the ends are slightly curved. Scatter on the kitty litter cake. Serve with the NEW kitty litter scoop.

Spooky Shrunken Head Apples

Don't let this spooky Halloween treat scare you. These currant/raisin and spice-filled apples are a grown-up favorite and because of the gooey look…even the kids like them! Makes 6 heads.


6 good size apples, cored

½ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted

1/3 cup currants or raisins

Hot Tamales (a soft, cinnamon flavored, oblong-shaped candy) or Red Hots

Whole cloves

Caramel ice cream syrup for drizzling

DIRECTIONS: Place apples in oven and microwave safe baking dish. In a small bowl mix brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, butter and currants. Fill apples with currant mixture; sprinkle remaining mixture around apples. Add cloves for eyes and a nose. Make a small slit on the apple for a mouth. Cover dish with foil. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven 50 to 60 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove foil and top apples with 1 or 2 Hot Tamales on the edge of the apples. Bake about 2 minutes, just until the candy stars are dripping. Place apples on a platter or individual plates, drizzle with caramel syrup and serve warm!

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS: Cover microwavable dish with parchment paper. Microwave on medium about 12 to 15 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove parchment paper and top apples with 1or 2 Hot Tamales on the edge of the apples. Microwave about 15-20 seconds, just until the candy stars are dripping.

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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